LAW OF MOSES
AS A RULE OF NATIONAL AND INDIVIDUAL LIFE
THE ENIGMATICAL ENUNCIATION OF
DIVINE PRINCIPLES AND PURPOSES
By Robert Roberts
It would not be possible, in the present temper of the public mind, to offer a more uninteresting book than a treatise on the Law of Moses. The feeling of the general reader is, that the subject belongs not only to the ancient, but the antiquated; not only to the old, but the obsolete; not only to the lifeless, but the discredited and the untrue. But experience shows that there is no reliable guidance in the feeling of the general reader, or the temper of the public mind. Nothing is more changeable, nothing less founded on true reason. The general sentiment that regards the Law of Moses with aversion, professes to regard Christ as the supreme expositor of divine truth, without apparently being aware, or at all events without giving due weight to the fact, that Christ was a zealous upholder of the Law of Moses, and avowed it to be his mission to fulfil that law—declaring with emphasis that "not one jot or one tittle would pass from the Law till all was fulfilled". An enlightened mind has to make a choice between Christ and general sentiment. Considering how purely human and uninformed the public mind is on such matters, there can be no hesitation in choosing Christ, though such choice necessarily places a man in an insignificant minority with much present disadvantage. Public sentiment will change and pass away. Jesus says, "My word shall not pass away". By this word, the Law of Moses is upheld as the Law of God. As such, it is entitled to all the attention and admiration to which the reader is invited in the following pages. (The Author, September 20th 1898).
CONTENTS & ANALYSIS OF CHAPTERS
I.—LAW: ITS NEED AND BEAUTY
Man’s need of law—Man innately lawless—False philosophy—But law must be suitable—Systems of law—The Mosaic only divine—Christ’s endorsement thereof —Importance of study because divine—Its admirable character—Its public rehearsal in main features after Israel’s entrance into the land—Its commendation by Moses before his death—Aim of the law as a mouth-shutter—Also its enigmatical shadowings of present rupture and future reconciliation—Its mission in clearing the way for the grace of God by bringing man under condemnation.
II.—BEFORE THE LAW OF MOSES
The world not without divine law before Moses—The times of Abraham. Noah, Adam—The flood—The tower of Babel—Melchizedek, the centre of divine law among descendants of Noah—A new start in Abraham through faith—Not a new principle but the new form of an old principle—Adaptation to altering circumstances—Divine law and priesthood as old as Eden—Every obedient man his own priest from Abel to Abraham—The interval between the covenant with Abraham and the exodus of Israel from Egypt under Moses—Lingering traces of the knowledge of God—Balaam, the Egyptian priests—Perverted remnants of knowledge—Heathen idolatries and ritualisms corrupt vestiges of knowledge from Noah—From Abraham to Moses—Perfecting of individuals—The bulk of Israel little better than the Egyptians—Ezekiel’s testimony—Why add God redeem them ?—Their organization as a nation, a measure with divine aims irrespective of their character-Israel made willing by affliction in Egypt—The negotiations between Moses and Pharaoh—The departure on the night of the Passover—Through the Red Sea to the Wilderness—The call of Moses to Sinai—The covenant proposed to the people.
Meeting with God—A divine address to the whole nation from the summit of Sinai—Recital of the ten commandments in the hearing of the whole assembly, by “a great voice”—The tables of stone—Their description as “the moral law” objectionable—Morality not an element in the nature of things—Morality extraneous to man and dependent wholly on the law of God—Hence killing and not killing right by turns—“Moral difficulties of the Old Testament” imaginary —Due to wrong ideas of moral law—God’s own description of the ten command-ments-The covenant between Him and Israel—The rest of the law mere appurtenances and amplifications—Unsuitable and unjust to regard the ten commandments in any other light than that in which the Mosaic record exhibits them—A speech from God as the basis of a national covenant—Afterwards “done away”—In what sense done away—The new law in Christ revives their excellent rules of action—The law of Moses unable to confer life because of human weakness—But made operative through Christ, who was born under it and obedient in all things—Learned misconceptions of the subject through wrong views of human nature.
IV.—THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Analysis of the ten commandments—Their order—God, family, and other men—Their beauty compared with humanly evolved systems—Greek and Roman civilizations—Contemporary laws of Canaan, Assyria, and Egypt still worse—The uprise of the Mosaic law in their midst a miracle—The first commandment mits incorporation of Israel’s deliverance—The meaning of this—Appeal to what Israel knew, and a guarantee of the historical veracity of the exodus to all subsequent generations—The Decalogue and the exodus bound together—Philosophy of the exodus—That God might be known—Revelation a necessity —Knowledge of God rests on the evidence of the senses—The Mosaic achievements in Egypt—Our conceptions of all scientific phenomena must be subordinated to this—The logic of the first commandment irresistible—The second commandment—God’s jealousy of the honour that belongs to Himself alone—The age of idolatry, continued in the age of statues, busts and memorials. Likenesses of Greek and Roman celebrities, but none of God’s servants—Reflex effect of the commandment—Jealousy as affirmable of God—Its difference from the human sentiment—Its basis in wisdom and goodness—The third commandment—Reverence for the name of God—Taking the name of God in vain.
V.—THE SABBATH LAW
The fourth commandment—More artificial in a sense than the rest—The Sabbath law exclusively Israelitish—A beneficial institution—The British nation and the Sabbath—The meaning of the Sabbath and the spiritual objects of its institution—Its observance before the law—Its association with the six days’ creation work—Scientific objections—The earth more than six thousand years old—The Bible account of creation not inconsistent with this, but on the contrary involving it—The Pre-Adamite state of the earth—The creation era—The angelic agents employed—Hebrew elohim and Greek angeloi—Their resting and being refreshed—The creation work—“Let there be light”—Light before the sun was made (to appear)—The explanation—The making of a “firmament” resulting in cloud and water—The formation of the seas, and the vegetation on the upheaved land—Next the appearance of the sun, moon and stars—Dr. Thomas on the subject—The explanation apparently strained and unnatural, but not really so—The rule for settling the doubtful and the unknown—Christ’s endorsement of Genesis compelling unreserved acceptance—The possibility if this without collision of truth—The statement that the Deity “rested and was refreshed”—The Sabbath also a memorial of the Egyptian deliverance.
VI.—THE SABBATH IN GENTILE TIMES
The Sabbath among the Jews in modern times—The Sabbath in Gentile Europe—Its observance a result of the establishment of “Christianity” and a proof of Christ’s resurrection—Substitution of the first for the seventh day —How it came about —The modern contention for the observance of the seventh day—Its unfounded character—The contentious activity of the Judaizers in Paul’s day—Paul’s opposition to them—His prophecy of their triumph—The Constantine church not an apostolic community, yet an instrument of preliminary blessedness to the nations of Europe—The Mosaic Sabbath not for the friends of Christ—Christ in relation to the law—The end of it—The disannulling of it—The Sabbath law displayed—The Sabbath in the days of Christ—His attitude anti-Sabbatarian —even examples—The apostles and the Sabbath—Their opposition to all observance of days—“The Christian Sabbath” a mistaken phrase—The breaking of bread on the first day of the week a different thing—The Sabbath in the age to come—The Sabbath in Eden—No argument for times under Christ—The true Sabbath-keeping in him.
VII.—THE REST OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Negative commandments—Not to do—How much human well-being depends on this —Man’s power to injure—Regulated by law, but law binding by authority only, and authority arising from divinity—The necessity for clear views here—Danger of setting aside obedience as the rule of righteousness—Moral laxities due to wrong theories—Submission wrongly regarded as a symptom of intellectual weakness—The FIFTH COMMANDMENT—Making light of father and mother—Modern lack of reverence—The only cure—Wisdom of the commandment to honour father and mother—Good effects on the children—Its reasonableness in view of the part performed by parents—Respect for parents among the Jews—Preparation for the other commandments—The SIXTH COMMANDMENT—“Thou shalt not kill”—Divine law alone creates the moral aspect of murder—Indebtedness of modern civilization to the effect of this law in many generations —Power of law as a protection to life—A higher protection in love which came after law—Under Christ, anger a crime—Obligation to love, one of the obligations of the truth—Extending even to enemies—An apparent impossibility, but possible when Christ is loved—The secret of triumph-Coming harvest of love—The SEVENTH COMMANDMENT—The sexual affinity—Its power and its blessedness when regulated by law—Necessity for iron barriers—Sophistries born of lust-Ignorant rebellions of all kinds—The two principles which settle the whole question—Libertinism—A short and decisive answer to all demoralizing theories—The law of Christ a stage higher—Impure thoughts forbidden—Powerful self-circumcision—The EIGHT COMMANDMENT—Not a matter of course—Wrongful taking made such only by divine prohibition—Atheism undermining the foundations of property, leads to socialism and anarchy—The divine recognition of personal possession as the basis of human society—Its regulation only needed to make the earth an abode of joyful life—Individual possession in the perfect age—The NINTH COMMANDMENT—The beauty of truth—The fate of liars—The TENTH COMMANDMENT—The finishing excellence—An uncovetous eye—Superb character of the whole law.
The law of Moses a civil polity—More adapted than modem systems to promote social well-being—The modem system a failure—Settlement of the people on the land—Hurtful monopoly prevented by the law of Moses—pro rata division among families on the basis of inalienable inheritance—A nation of “landed gentry”—Self-extinguishing mortgages—Permanent beggary impossible—Creation of large estates prevented—Preservation of the social equilibrium—The divine land-law full of blessedness; the human, full of woe—Possession of the land married to the worship of God the coming cure for the world’s evils—Not “nationalization” but familization the true system—Objection on the score of increasing population —Every seventh year a year of rest for the’ land—The spontaneous harvest of that year, the property of the poor—The miraculous double increase of the sixth year—Levites to have no inheritance, but only residence at city centres—A spiritualizing element in the population—Imitation in the parochial system of Christendom—The law a failure in Israel’s hands—Its resuscitation and success under Christ.
IX.—PRIVATE LIFE AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
The land in the possession of the people, but something else needful to prevent stolid dulness—Laws for the interweaving of God with every occupation of life—The law as to things not to be eaten and things not to be touched—Rest every seventh day—The rite of circumcision—Birth of children—Presentation and redemption of the first born—Personal diseases—Defiling contacts—God continually before the consciences of faithful men—The uncleannesses of the law, ceremonial, not physical—Not the less powerful as a felt experience—The law of taboo—Creation of the idea of holiness—National institutions—The feasts—The passover—The feast of tabernacles—Extensive comings together for a good time—A contrast to Gentile holidays—Conviviality with a rational and spiritual aim—Celebration of the national deliverance—The calling of God to mind—A joyous, subdued, ennobled nation—Presentation of the firstfruits—Charms of the feast of tabernacles—Most beneficent of public institutions—Calculated to produce a happy people.
X.—DEALINGS OF MAN WITH MAN
Phylacteries—The place for God in human life—The law of Moses as a policy of civil life—Gentile imitations—Responsibility for effects of individual action on others—Accidental injuries—The unprotected roof—The goring ox—The unguarded pit—The straying beast—Losing borrowed articles—Another man’s wife—Theft—Restitution—Sale of the thief—Stoning him on refusal to work—Carlyle’s rapture—Anti-slavery sentiment—Immortal-soulism and modern objections to the law of Moses—Comparison with Egyptian and Assyrian practices—An enemy’s interests to be conserved—Just judgment in all things —Majorities not to rule in such matters—The condemnation of tale-bearing, revenge, and cruel sport—Inculcation of mercy to the blind, the deaf, the poor, the distressed—Lending to be ready and free of usury—Liberal-handedness in the harvest field—Honour to grey hairs—Protection of female chastity—Death to the adulterer—The law, holy, just, and good, but Israel disobedient— A time of reformation coming.
XI.—THE COVENANT AT SINAI AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE TABERNACLE
First visit of Moses to the summit of Mount Sinai—Readiness of the people to promise obedience when he came down—The writing and reading of the laws added to the ten commandments—Ceremony of ratification of the covenant to obey—Concealed meanings—Silence with regard to the objects of what was commanded to be done—“All things by the law purged with blood”—The connection of this fact with death as a thing due—But the blood-shedding, being that of animals, only typical—The antitype in Christ—His own subjection to the purifying process—Paul’s testimony and the common view—The lesson of sacrifice: not human punishment but divine vindication—The enforcement of the will of God as the law of human action—Heathen religions and substitutions—Moses and Aaron and seventy elders invited to see the glory of God on the mount after ratification of the covenant—The parallel in Christ’s ascension—The throne of Eternal Light—Immensities of universal space—Six days cloud and silence—Adumbration of divine chronology in the shadowed substance—The “devouring fire on the top of the mount”—A counterpart—Command to make the Tabernacle —Exhibition of the plan to the eyes of Moses—Specially qualified artisans for the work of construction—The practical significance of the divine care for accuracy in the matter—The people invited to provide the materials of manufacture—The significance—The raw material for the final divine encampment on earth furnished by the human race—The voluntary character of the supply—Free-will the basis of God’s work with man—The making of the tabernacle—Its details as “the form of knowledge and the truth”—Christendom astray in rejecting the divine pattern—Every son of God a miniature tabernacle.
XII.—ALLEGORICAL TRANSACTIONS AT SINAI
Specifications for the construction of the tabernacle—Twice set forth in a “thou-shalt make” and an “and-he-made” series—Meaning of this apparently needless duplication—“Establishment” by doubling—Also the two phases of divine procedure: first plan; then fulfilment; command, then obedience; prophecy then history—Mutiny of Israel during the absence of Moses in the mount—The anger of Moses on coming down and finding the people in the act of idolatry—His flinging the tables of the law out of his hand—Parallel in Christ—Also in the return of Moses to the top of the mount to intercede for Israel—The exhibition of the divine glory to Moses between the “thou-shalt-make” and the “and-he-made” phases of the work—The glory of his face when he came down—The need for a veil—The historical counterpart in the days of Christ, and in days to come—The breaking and replacing of the tables of the law—The discernible parallel in the course of events since and in the prophetic sequel—The strangeness of such occurrences being made typical of future events—In reality an added beauty of the work of God—The pattern and quantities of the tabernacle—A meeting place with God and not merely a portable convenience—The order of making, different from the order of specification—A probable reason—The ark and the tables of the law—The cherubic figures—The throne of God in Israel’s midst—The shadows involved in their construction—God in manifestation—To be known only by revelation—The position of the ark at the very centre of Israel’s encampment—To be approached only by sacrifice—One of the secrets of popular distaste.
XIII.—THE ARK AND ITS CONTENTS
The tabernacle as an intimation of incompleteness in the union between God and Israel—Also as a prophecy of the way in which true union would be effected—Substance and shadow—Christ the way in head and body—The ark as a container —Its contents—First, the tables of stone—Typical of the divine law in the heart—Glorious state when this is affirmable of all men—Second, Aaron’s budded rod—Its history—Typical of divine choice and appointment as the basis of acceptable service—Divine purpose at the root of human well-being—Its budding as a type of the resurrection—The golden pot of manna: eternal life through Christ—The material of the ark: wood covered with gold—A prophecy of tried faith and resurrection recompense.—The blood-sprinkled mercy seat and cherubim all of gold—The perfect mediator—The glory between the Cherubim, the participation of the Eternal Father, in salvation through Christ—God at every stage—The crown of the ark, intimation of royalty—The rings of, pilgrim mobility in this state—The poles of, qualified carriers—Staves always in their place, faithful men always at work—The golden censer—Nadab’s and Abihu’s disobedience and death—Incense typical of prayer—The sweetness of the incense and its smallness—The antitype in Christ—Prayer a pleasure to God—Prayer in the immortal state—Praise its chief element—The memory of the one great sacrifice in the age to come.
XIV.—OUTSIDE THE VEIL IN THE HOLY PLACE
The holy of helios a meeting place with God—A truth lost sight of by natural thinkers, that God cannot be discovered or communed with, apart from His own disclosures of Himself—“THERE will I meet thee”—A revelation and a prophecy—The day when the curse is removed and complete communion established—The present a time of divine silence though not of divine inaction—The veil concealing the ark—Why it was there—Its significance of flesh-nature in its Christ form—Rending of the veil as to death and resurrection—Composition of the veil—Different materials blended—The significance of this complexity—The fine-twined linen—Sinlessness—The divine sonship of Jesus—“Josephism”—The scarlet significant of sin—How this applied to Jesus, a sinless man—The babe of Bethelem—Adamic flesh and blood—A sinless man subject to the consequences of sin—The difficulties raised—Chiefly of Romish origin—The blue and the purple—Healing and royalty—All the foreshadowings realized in the righteous : son of David—The four pillars on which the veil was suspended—Do they denote the “four evangelists” ?—The gold hooks and silver sockets—Outside the veil in the holy place—No wisdom—No light except from the seven-branched candlestick—The significance in probation—The oil and the beauty of the oil—The trimming of the lamps morning and evening—The daily reading of the Scriptures—No “light of nature” adequate to the revelation of God—“Natural religion” a myth—Will worship—The incense altar in front of the veil—Altar of sacrifice outside—The incense altar inside, a speaking symbol of the essentiality of prayer to acceptable worship—No strange incense or strange fire—God’s own truth the basis of approach—The blood-sprinkling on the altar of incense once a year, an intimation that contact with the sacrifice of Christ is essential to acceptable prayer—No relation to the stranger in any way—The table of shewbread—Twelve cakes, twelve tribes—Israelitish character of the whole polity of true religion—Salvation pertaining to the Jews—Modern forgetfulness of this—The divine plan one from the beginning.
XV.—OUTSIDE THE TABERNACLE—AMONG ITS BOARDS AND COVERINGS
The incense on the shewbread—The eating of the bread by the priests—The gold-lined walls of the tabernacle a powerful condemnation of the modern attitude towards faith—The reasonable character of faith as an exacted condition of divine acceptability—The vision of the golden city—The curtains at the door of the tabernacle—The material of the curtains the same as that of the veil—The meaning of this—The same Christ in another relation—The five pillars, five men permanently distinguished in the work of preaching Jesus as the door—The sockets of brass—The boards composing the tabernacle—The mechanical compactness of the whole structure—A probable spiritual significance—The boards considered as types of individual men—The four corner pairs braced together—Prominent divine servants in couples at turning points in the nation’s history—A structural parable with doctrinal and prophetic significances—The coverings laid over the tabernacle—first, a composite gold-hooked fabric in ten parts, of similar material to the veil—second, a larger covering of goat material tacked together with brass hooks—third, a covering of red ram’s skins, and fourth, of badger or seal skin—The literal purpose of the coverings—The spiritual significance, both as to %he material and the method of make-up—first, the Christ body—second, ecclesiasticism—third, the civil power—fourth, nature.
XVI.—THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE
Tabernacle fenced off by a curtain wall of linen hung on wood pillars in brass sockets—The material—Its significance in righteousness—The world outside the divine economy—“They that are in the flesh cannot please God”—Men must come inside the walls of righteousness—The four pillars of the gate, the gospel narrators—The 56 pillars of the court, notable servants of God—Significance of the brazen sockets, the setting in the earth, the shittim wood of the pillars and the silver mountings—The uncircumcised not eligible for entrance—Nature, object and appointment of circumcision—Obedience and not gratification the ground of acceptance—The common thought opposed to truth—Invented religions of no final value—Natural religion a myth—The lesson of the tabernacle —God’s appointment the basis of acceptable approach—Circumcision plus sacrifice in the worshippers—The brazen altar of burnt-offering inside the court—The necessity and meaning of sacrifice—First in type, then in Christ—Why animal sacrifice was inadequate—The truth proclaimed by all sacrifice, that man is separated from God and can only return in God’s way—The popular fallacy about being “good” as the way to be saved—The relative positions of God and man forgotten—The Gospel and the Mosaic institution at one in declaring man’s position to be hopeless apart from God’s own methods and appointments—The laver—After sacrifice, washing—Confutation of modern views—“The blood” only an ingredient in the process of salvation—Probation—After reconciliation, reformation—After death (and resurrection), the judgment—Correspondence of the Christ-doctrine and the Mosaic parable.
XVII.—THE PRIESTS AND THEIR ATTIRE
The setting-up of the tabernacle necessitated intermediaries—Israel’s uncleanness —Mercy to be shown but not at the sacrifice of holiness—God would be approached only through a man of His own choice, assisted by men of His own appointment-Aaron and his sons-Qualifications-The antitype in Christ—Christ as both sacrifice and priest—The brethren or Christ and the sons of Aaron—The priests to be dressed in a particular way, “for glory and for beauty” —The beautiful meanings condensed into this expression—The ways of man naturally base and hideous—The works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit—The great contrast between the natural and the spiritual—The true meaning of the word “spiritual”—The antitypical glory and beauty of the Aaronic garments —The materials—God in every aspect of them—Man acceptable only when clothed in vestments of divine origin and significance—The condemnation of all human invention in religion—The ephod—The order of investiture—The coat—The girdle of the coat—The robe with bells and pomegranates, the bottom fringe—The ephod and its attachments—(shoulder buckles and breastplate)—the most complicated, beautiful, and significant of all the priestly garments—The Urim and the Thummim—The mitre—The plate of pure gold on the forehead, inscribed “Holiness to the Lord”—The clothed high priests “bearing the iniquity of the holy things”, a strange expression become intelligible—The antitype in Christ.
XVIII.—THE CONSECRATION OF AARON AND HIS SONS
The tabernacle made in twelve months after the exodus—Setting it up—Investiture of Aaron—Washing with water—The antitype in Christ—A difficulty dissipated —Different sorts of the same nature—Jesus’ human nature mentally washed by the Spirit—Putting on the coat—The antitype—The ephod with its adjuncts of glory and beauty—The anointing with the holy oil—Typical of the anointing with the Spirit—The sprinkling of the oil and sacrificial blood upon every article in the tabernacle—The antitypical application—An objection as to the uncleanness of the children of Israel—The difficulty experienced by various thinkers as to Christ—His sacrifice “for himself” first—The statement that it was so and the “necessity” that it should be so—The blending and poising of apparently opposing principles—The end of all difficulty in the reception of the testified facts—For himself that it might be for us—The contrast between Christ as he now is and as he was—A “body prepared” for the abolition of death—A reverence for Christ “not according to knowledge”—The condemnation of sin in the flesh—An inspired expression defining a truth not in collision with any other—God’s objects in the case the key—The relations of the Creator and the created—Forgiveness after the amende honorable—The significance of bloodshedding—The declaration of the righteousness of God—Inspired definition of the object of the death of Christ—Jesus not to be regarded as an individual merely, but as the representative of his people—“Crucified with Christ”—Forgiveness through the forbearance of God—The curse of the law brought on Christ by the mode of his death—The whole principle—Redemption achieved in Christ for us to have on conditions—Destruction of the typical analogies of the Law of Moses by the erroneous views of the death of Christ.
XIX.—THE FINAL DEDICATION
Inauguration of the daily service of the tabernacle—The offering of the ram of burnt offering and the ram of consecration—A counterpart in Christ concealed by some views—Roman Catholic and Protestant views—Other views—Christ cannot be kept out of his own sacrifice—The bullock carried out of the camp and the ram not so carried out—Right ear, right hand, right foot touched with the blood of consecration—Waving of the parts in the hands of Aaron—The accompaniments of unleavened bread, oiled cake, and wafer—The significance—Active, joyful, holy life—Realized in Christ’s present state—The deeper meaning of the consecration services—“So hath the Lord commanded” but with fore-shadowings afterwards intimated—Purposed metamorphosis of the race by voluntary sacrifice—Only a partial experience now—The future—Activity—“Doing his pleasure” a cheering prospect—Eating of part of the ram—Seven days in succession—The surplus destroyed—“Too late”—The eighth day of the service typical of post-millennial experience—Israel on their faces before the manifested glory of the Lord—The sacrificial foundation of eternal glory always in remembrance.
XX.—THE ROUTINE SERVICE OF THE TABERNACLE
The tabernacle ready—Its services meaningless mummery to the naturalist—its real character as means of creating the conception of holiness—its immediate object and its secondary significance—Misapplications in the ecclesiasticisms of the age—Church consecrations—Ritualisms— Semi-Mosaic religionism not without its use—Routine services of the tabernacle daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly—The daily incense, lamp-trimming and lamb-sacrifice (morning and evening)—The counterpart in daily life—The light, Bible reading—The incense, daily prayer—The daily sacrifice, Christ in the head, heart and hand of true worshippers—The daily meat and wine offering—Strength and gladness in the service of God—Mosaic condemnation of Laodiceanism and the loose thoughts of moralists—The Sabbath day in the tabernacle—Double services: why?—The new moon celebrations—Benefits conferred by the moon—Appreciation of the works of God—The motions of nature in their relations to the contriving energy of God —God’s delight in the recognition of His wisdom—The new moon in the age to come—A succession of joyful activities in the new heavens and new earth.
XXI.—THE ANNUAL SERVICES
Several annual services in the tabernacle—The year in the life of man—The Passover —Not only Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, but the highest spiritual attainments typified—A significant association—Moses and Christ the two poles of God’s great work—The world’s scepticism as to Moses an insult to Christ who endorsed him, and to God who appointed the passover—The recognition of the exodus required at our hands—Our generation condemned, and its clerical leaders in unbelief—The feasts of the firstfruits, founded on an institute of nature—God’s beneficence in the harvest, yet the Egyptian deliverance to be interwoven in its thanksgiving services—The special services in the tabernacle—The wave-sheaf followed by the offering of a lamb—In seven weeks, on the completion of the harvest, two loaves of the new flour, accompanied by the sacrifice of seven lambs—The significances—Gratitude for the God-given bread of the field to be mixed with the acknowledgment of sinnership in blood-shedding—A prophecy of the sinless man through whom alone God will be approached in worship—Sinners not acceptable without the name of Christ on them—Human resentment of this appointment—The firstfruits in the antitype of Christ and his people—The two phases: the single sheaf and the two loaves seven weeks after—Ascension and Pentecost—A chronological inexactness with probable design—The feast of ingathering—The most elaborate of the tabernacle services —The seventh month—first day, a holy convocation: tenth day, day of atonement: in five days after, the construction and occupation of arboreal booths —The natural charms of such a feast—The numerous but gradually-diminishing sacrifices in the tabernacle—The Kingdom typified—The grand assembly on the eighth day, the close of the Kingdom.
Various occasions of voluntary service—The altar of earth—Or stone undressed—The correspondence in Christ—Josephite fathership excluded—Divine origin of Jesus—“Voluntary will” as an element in the sacrifices—A far-reaching principle, at the root of the problem of evil—The attitude of the atheist and the meta-physician-Facts and philosophic triflers—Human power of choice—God’s aims in creation—His pleasure in man, but in what relation ?—Obedience free and uncompelled—The door opened for evil in the conditions of the highest good—Evil came in through this door—Man guesses: the Bible reveals—The final triumph—The process slow because the result stupendous—Means and ends—Man allowed to fall, that he may in the end know God in His true supremacy and kindness—The myriads who perish—No difficulty in view of man’s mortality —The bright morning of God’s perfected work—Responsiblity and judgment as arising out of free will—The relation of light—The fatalism of the Turk—The gloom of the Calvinist—Hurtful reactions in modern libertinism.
XXIII.—THE MALE ELEMENT IN SACRIFICE
Form of approach to God prescribed—Not anything acceptable—Cain and Abel—The killing of a living creature—The pouring out of its blood—The divine explanation —A “male without blemish”—The sex feature prominent—The female subordinate—Why ?—Historical facts and natural adaptations—“The new woman” fighting against nature—Man having the first place in redemption—Salvation by a man, not by a woman—The woman subordinately instrumental—Relative .positions of man and woman—Beautiful when determined by law—Naturalism contrary to nature—Human folly on the subject—The so-called “divine feminine” in the Godhead—All creation one stuff in different forms—The lessons of a zoological collection—Its application to the difference between man and woman—The same stuff differently organized—The organic power rooted in divine will—God manifestly in the mysteries of nature, but not to be found till He brought Himself near in revelation—God one and as lovely as we could wish Him to be—A great King not a Queen, but with more than a queen’s loveliness—The eternal masculine—The burnt sacrifice, a male figure of Christ—The anti-typical offerers—“Faith in his blood”—Rest—The sacrificial sheep or goat—Preparation of the Lamb of God—Difficulty to human understanding because men try to square it with human thoughts—Doves and pigeons in sacrifice—The same lessons as applied to Christ—“Crop and feathers” cast aside—Body cloven, but not parted—Spiritual analogies.
XXIV.—MEAT OFFERINGS AND PEACE OFFERINGS
Love-offerings—Gifts to God—Highest pleasure to God and man—Meat offerings acceptable through the priest and on the altar only—Easy to understand when divine teaching allowed to prevail—Christ the way—Meat offerings to be drowned in oil—The place of joy in the service of God—For sinners to mourn, for the righteous to rejoice—No place for the gloomy religion of the cloister and the cell—Meat offerings to be garnished with frankincense—The place of praise—Man likes it but God claims it and permits it to man only when he has had his superlative portion—All meat offerings to be seasoned with salt—The antitype—Sound, wholesome savory principle—Hearty loving intelligence essential to acceptability—No leaven—A serf-propagating thing tending to deterioration—Analogy to the operations of “malice and wickedness”—No liberality to God acceptable if offered with a wicked mind—Such an act possible—Honey also forbidden—The sweetness of self-gratification—Enjoyments permitted and enjoyments forbidden—Self-glory the anti-typical honey—The use made of the meat offering—Part burnt and part eaten—The significance—God and man conjoined in the object of gift—Oblation of the first cut corn, waved, not burnt—The probable meaning—A meat offering from the first cut corn might be burnt—The reason—The meat offering as the expression of friendship—The peace offering, pointing to reconciliation—Must be a living creature for sacrifice —Might be a female—The reason—Mother of the Saviour—Woman saved by the “child-hearing”—Offerings to be brought by the offerer, and not by deputy—The fat as well as the blood—Why—The priests to have the chief part—Mis-application by the clergy—The antitypical house of Aaron.
XXV.—BURNT OFFERINGS, SIN OFFERINGS, AND TRESPASS OFFERINGS
Compulsory and voluntary offerings—An adaptation to spiritual need—The diversity of offerings a perplexity at first—The difference between the different classes of offering—Gradations of atonement—Different degrees of sin—Presumptuous sin unatonable—The burnt offering—Why so-called—The type involved consumption of sin nature—The crucifixion—Flesh and blood to cease from the earth—Those who deny Christ’s inclusion in his own sacrifice—The removal of the ashes in the morning—The change of the mortal in the day of Christ—The sin offering—Sins of ignorance—Why should they require atonement—An escape from a false position—The ignorant sin recognizable when it “comes to knowledge”—An offering required, forgiveness offered—The reasonableness of the whole procedure—No accountability where there is no knowledge, but sin, sin, all the same—The offering for sins of ignorance—Wherein they differed from other offerings—An intenser repudiation of sins of ignorance—Why ?-Unconscious sin more hateful than known and acknowledged sin—How often may we grieve Him in our ignorance when self-pleased—The Laodiceans—Necessity for judging ourselves by the word—Cause of fear, ground of comfort —“The spirit itself helpeth our infirmities”—The antitypical eating of the sacrifices—The danger of false theories of the sacrifice of Christ—Why the flesh of the sin offering “most holy”—The antitype in Christ—The trespass offering—the distinction from the sin offering—All trespass is sin, but all sin not trespass —“All manner of sin forgiven unto men, except blaspheming of the Holy Spirit” —The combined effect of all the sacrifices.
Special impurities and special purifications—Childbirth—A period of seclusion for the mother—Then sacrifice—Spiritual intimations—Propagation a provisional thing Marriage absent from the perfect state—Males to be circumcised the eighth day—The mother remaining 33 days unclean—Probable antitype—Uncleanness for a female just double the number of days—Good remarks by brother Harvey, of London, on the difference between the man-child and the woman-child of this ordinance—The male-child type of Christ with his 33 years of natural life; the woman-child of his bride, who had personal sins to be atoned for—The number of days, 66, with an added six to represent the false or pretended Papal Bride—The moral and prophetic teaching of the type.
Disease and its treatment, evidently with a typical significance—Diseases of dis-organization—Leprosy and issue—Healthy mortals and unhealthy mortals—Human frailty and human wickedness—Curable and incurable leprosy—The spiritual meaning—Forgiveness of sin but only when not persisted in —The ceremony of the reception of the cured leper—The sacrificial lamb and the two birds—The allegory of the two birds, one killed and the other liberated—Orthodox misinterpretation inseparable from a false view of human nature —The key to this parable in the apostolic doctrine of the death of Christ— Christ the two clean birds in death and resurrection—The cedar wood, hyssop, and other adjuncts—The work of Christ through the apostles—The law as to issue—Its recognition as defiling—The spiritual import—The periodical infirmity of woman as the subject of sacrificial purification—The typical intimations —an ordinance that does for woman what circumcision does for man—Both the helpless subjects of vanity, with hope.
Special reprobation of death as a cause of defilement by contact—The cleansing—The water of separation—The ashes of a slain heifer—Why such stringent measures ? —A deep subject—The origin of death in relation to man—Death in the animal world—Attested revelation—Adjustment of revealed truth to natural fact—Human mortality the result of sin—The awful thing meant by sin—Life: what is it ?—An insoluble problem—Revelation—God the fountain of life—Death the negation of His own work and the penalty of treason—Death destroyed by death in Christ—Some admirers of Christ horror-struck without a reason—The Papal view and its mischievous results—A wrong idea of God’s objects—Subject difficult but beautiful and essential—John’s emphasis on the subject of Christ having come in the flesh—An immaculate Christ as unfit for the object of sacrifice as a seeming Christ—Approach unacceptable without a true discernment of the principles on which God is willing to receive erring man to friendship—The red heifer—the colour—the condition—the killing—the priestly presentation—the sprinkling of the blood seven times—the burning—the left ashes—the cleanness of the man gathering them—All types realized in the work of Christ—Christ’s forbidding Mary to touch him after his resurrection—Object of the various sacrificial ordinances—A solemn and imperative lesson—The holiness of God—An unbelieving and disobedient world.
Beasts dying of themselves unfit for food—The reason not hygienic but spiritual —The flesh of particular creatures unclean—The principle of refusal—List of unfit animals—The classification based on spiritual significance—The principle allegorically involved—Peter and the vision of the knit sheet—The distinction of the meats done away—Still natural distinctions remain—Things good, things evil—Licence and fastidiousness alike to be avoided—The cud-chewing and hoof-parting animals—The sort of men that answer to the type—Spiritual food and spiritual life—Ruminating animals—The truth a thing for constant use—The typical eating of clean animals only—The avoidance of ungodly men—Dividing the hoof—surefootedness—Some all theory, and no action—The pig among the Jews—Pork and anti-pork controversy among the Gentiles—Singular state of things in view of the sow being a creature that symbolizes executive efficiency but indifference to the will of God—The moral combination most odious to God—The hygienic aspect of the question the least important—The law against unclean animals done away, but the thing signified remaining for ever—The classification of fowls and fishes on a different principle but meaning the same.
A man at liberty to dedicate himself to God—The Nazarite not to drink wine—The reason—Interference with the natural equilibrium of the mind—The typical significance—Spiritual inabriation—Acceptable Nazariteship founded on cairn reason leading to strong love—The true Nazarites not shouting or theatrical religionists—Forbidden to cut the hair -The meaning—To come at no dead body—Domestic inconveniences—Jesus, the great Nazarite, made light of natural ties—The relationships of those who are sanctified by the truth—The Nazarite defiled by the sudden death of another near by—Important things suggested—The remedy for lost days—Confession, forgiveness, and reformation—The Nazarite’s separation a parable of probation—The prominence of favour in the process of salvation—The saints saved as forgiven men—The typical counterpart of the sacrifices to be offered by the Nazarite at the end of the days of separation.
XXXI.—GIFTS TO GOD
Gratitude yearning for utterance—Suitable provision in the law—Dedicating property to God—Redemptions on payment of money on a scale of values—Personal consecrations—Devoted things unredeemable—Samuel—Jephthah’s daughter—The typical distinction between sanctification and devotedness—This mortal and the immortal beyond—God only fitly served in the latter—The apparent inference from special consecrations that Israel were at liberty to live secular lives—A mistake—Only special holiness in the midst of a holy people—A type of what is coming—Provision for sanitation—Far better than modern sewage schemes—A clean, holy, happy earth coming—The antitype—The incorruptible camp of the saints—A perfect nature—perfect digestion—No residue—A pleasing prospect—Food not necessary to life in the future state, but assimilable to the spirit substance of the new body and a source of pleasure and refreshment —Wizards—The reason of their not being tolerated—Necromancers, witches, diviners, familiar spirits and all pretenders, and robbers of the glory of God.
The non-muzzling of oxen in treading out the corn—A typical significance encouraging to workers—Unequal yoking of ox and ass—A lesson on the limits of practical co-operation—Neck not to be put in the same yoke with the unbelieving—The first numbering of Israel in the wilderness—Names of the enumeraters—Their meanings—A concealed prophecy in a dry list—The numbering a preparation for inheritance—A pattern as to days to come—The life of the redeemed not a social chaos—Exact in number and definite in station—The second numbering—The number about the same after forty years—Its probable significance in the second and .final adjustment of human affairs at the close of the thousand years—Exclusion of the tribe of Levi from the census—Given to God—Counterpart in the saints given to Christ—The Bride in the endless age—Captains, guides, and officers for ever—The immortal population in the perfect age an organized and well-ordered society—The honour of being called to the millennial kingdom greater than the millennial invitation to life eternal—The saved state a state of endlessly-varied and joyful activity.
Extraneous but related matters—The present of wagons and oxen by the twelve princes—The divine acceptance of the present—The lesson of the incident—Unprescribed co-operation acceptable if in harmony with the principles of divine work—Another instance in Jethro’s recommendation of helpers to Moses—Modern applications—Shadowing of the work of Christ in the age to come—The twelve apostles on twelve thrones—Reigning and co-operating—Yet individuality of thought and volition—The offering of the princes besides the present of the wagons and the oxen—Twelve similar offerings on twelve successive days—Why ?—A probable explanation—The nature of the offering and its typical significances, pointing forward to the perfect service of God—Orders to march—Order of procession—beautiful order—No hitch—A foreshadowing of the perfect order that will prevail in the age of glory—The end of these commentaries —The law, though ended in Christ, to be brought into force again in Israel’s midst at their restoration—The testimony that it will be so—General prophetic allusions to the same effect—In the day of Christ, the Law of Hoses the understood typical memorial of the work accomplished in him—The last injunction of the Old Testament, to remember the Law of Moses—The hostile attitude of the nineteenth century—In the twentieth century, the law enthroned in Zion.